Why did it go so wrong after that triumphant entry into Jerusalem?
As we approach Holy Week let us reflect just briefly on how Jesus got to this point.
His ministry as we know was expansive and varied; we see Jesus minister to people in the open air, on the sea shore, on a hillside, in people’s homes and at table as he shares meals with a complex variety of fellow diners.
Jesus has an extraordinary facility to connect with people, and his pastoral strategy of associating with people puts him on a collision course with the Pharisees, who stay carefully segregated from sinners. Their regular accusation against Jesus is that he welcomes and eats with sinners, they are appalled at what they believe as Jesus’ haphazard and uncritical choice of table companions, which they maintain, must surely render him unclean in the eyes of the law.
But Jesus uses the table as the setting for revelation, for teaching and for grace-filled moments.
A telling example of this is when Jesus enters, at his own invitation, the house of Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector – an act that scandalises not just the Pharisees but also the ordinary people…Yet it brings salvation to Zacchaeus’ house. “For the Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost.”
Jesus broke the rules set down by man, but obeyed God. In the eyes of man he had done wrong, in the eyes of God he was doing God’s will…Something we, too, must reflect on…
So we continue this example of gathering at table together. On the night before Jesus dies he gathers his disciples together, to share, not just food, but his most glorious gift: the gift of himself. Leaving them with the haunting request “Do this in memory of me.”
Remember me by doing this; remember me by gathering in my name and breaking bread.
Which we are here to do as we become the fifth gospel and carry the memory of Christ to all. Amen.